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need to pay special attention to their diet and daily nutrition intake. If you want to see the greatest results from your hard work on the field or in the gym, what you decide to put into your body is essential. Food is your fuel.

It is what your body relies on to run properly and perform the way it was intended.

This nutrition guide includes information from some of the top experts in the field, over 30 healthy recipes and a schedule to track your weekly meal planning.

Use this guide to get on track toward a healthy lifestyle that supports your training schedule. This is simply a sample guide to support your daily nutrition.

Calories should vary based on body type and size. This is not intended to replace a customized nutrition plan from professionals in the industry.

Where to Begin: The 10 Nutrition Rules To Live By

Deciding what you should eat is never an easy task given the wide range of options that exist.

The even more challenging factor is all of the marketing and packaging you must weed through and determining what’s actually healthy and good for your diet.

On ussoccer.com, Danielle LaFata Director of Performance Nutrition, Athletes’ Performance discusses the nutrition rules soccer athletes should live by when deciding what to eat.

This is a great base of knowledge to have before you head to the grocery store. 

1. COME BACK TO EARTH: Choose the least processed forms of food such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and high fiber carbohydrates.

2. EAT A RAINBOW OFTEN: Eat fruits or vegetables with each meal. Choose a wide variety of colors for the biggest benefit.

3. THE LESS LEGS THE BETTER: Include a LEAN protein source with each meal.

4. EAT HEALTHY FATS: Include healthy fats in your diet like olive oil, nuts, natural nut butters, seeds, avocado, fish, flaxseed and flaxseed oil.

5. EAT BREAKFAST EVERY DAY: When you eat within 30 minutes of waking up, you jump start your metabolism. This gives you more energy to get your day going.

6. THREE FOR THREE: Eat smaller portions more often, spread evenly across the day. No excuses – you should be eating 4-6 meals/day! Aim for all three macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) every three hours for optimal fueling.

7. STAY HYDRATED: Dehydration = Decreased Performance. Drink at least three liters of non-caloric beverages (water/green tea) every day.

8. DON’T WASTE YOUR WORKOUT: Have a post-workout recovery meal or shake that combines both carbs and protein immediately after your training.

9. SUPPLEMENT WISELY: Fuel first and supplement second. If you are not getting what you need through food, add a multivitamin supplement into your daily routine. Create a smart supplementation program that improves your performance without compromising your health or draining your wallet. Before you take any type of supplement, make sure to check in with your doctor or registered dietitian.

10. SLEEP: Aim for eight hours of sleep. If you can’t get eight hours daily, consider power naps when you can. The body recovers and repairs best when it is sleeping.

And to finish off …

The 80/20 Rule: Each meal and snack is an opportunity to fuel your body optimally.

Choose the foods that are best for you 80% of the time and incorporate some of those foods that may not be the best, but are your favorites, 20% of the time!

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